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Charges laid over silt discharge from Waihi Dam

Waiau Rv at Otoi HBRC 331

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council today laid charges against two parties in relation to the works carried out on the Waihi Dam and the subsequent discharge of silt into the Waihi and Waiau Rivers.

Two parties were charged with four alleged offences arising out of contamination of the Waihi River between December 2015 and February 2016.

Each party will face charges of disturbance of a bed of a lake or river [under Section 13[1][b] of the Resource Management Act] and The discharge of contaminants into water [under section 15[1][a] of the Resource Management Act].

The Waihi dam began discharging silt into the Waiau River before Christmas after a sluice gate was damaged in a storm late last year.  HBRC issued an abatement notice on Christmas Eve and January 6th requiring the gate to be closed. Extensive work and the granting of a resource consent was required before the gates could be fully closed in March this year.

A comprehensive investigation has been undertaken looking at all aspects of the incident and its effects on the environment, the community and tāngata whenua to get a full and thorough picture of the situation. The investigation, its findings and recommendations were independently reviewed by Crown Solicitor Meredith Connell before a decision was made to prosecute.

Quite separate from the prosecution, HBRC is continuing to work with the Eastland Group to refine and adapt its current resource consent and the operation of the Waihi Dam itself to ensure it meets current day best practice.

HBRC is not in a position to make any further comment as the matter is now before the Court.


Media contact

Iain Maxwell, Group Manager Resource Management | P 06 833 8011

Helen Shea, Communications Specialist|P 06 833 8085, 027 662 5953

14 June 2016

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